THE military is not closing its doors to possible military aid from President Rodrigo Duterte’s new friends Moscow and Beijing as it tries to combat terrorism in Mindanao, Armed Forces spokesman Restituto Padilla said Wednesday.
He said it would take time to get military assistance from other countries.
“The government and its armed forces is open to any help because it is a worldwide battle against terrorists,” Padilla said.
“It will take time. You have to allot time to organize and transfer all the weapons here.”
On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry expressed support to the Philippine government’s “anti-terrorism” operations against the Islamists.
“Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind. China understands and firmly supports Duterte’s leadership and his government in fighting terrorism,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters.
“We support these anti-terrorism operations.”
Lu was asked about China’s views on the assistance provided by Washington to the Philippine military.
“On the operations launched by the Philippine government on their territory, in principle we welcome the constructive support of the international community on the basis of the respect of the Philippine government’s own will, and of the Philippines’ sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Lu said.
Duterte had earlier expressed “surprise” over the presence of American special forces aiding the Philippine military in its fight against the ISIS, but ruled out asking support from Russia and China in ending the ongoing siege by the Islamic State-inspired groups who started attacking Marawi City last month.
Padilla, who maintains that the American troops in the area are simply providing “technical assistance” to soldiers, said the US forces already here in the country are the ones who were tapped to aid the troops in the ongoing siege.
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